The Obama administration is delaying online enrollment for its small business health exchange by one year. Employers with 50 employees or fewer will have to wait for a year to use the online feature of the Small Business Health Options, or SHOP, exchange.

The business owners will still be able to purchase coverage through the marketplace by working with a broker or agent, however.

“We’ve concluded that we can best serve small employers by continuing this offline process while we concentrate on both creating a smoothly functioning online experience in the SHOP Marketplace, and adding key new features, including an employee choice option and premium aggregation services, by November 2014,” the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services wrote in a Q&A distributed to health law stakeholders.

Part of the reason for the delay is likely the massive problems faced by the federal government in launching